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In a time where freedom of information is on decline all around the world, the Nordic states remain on top of the list over countries with the highest level of press freedom.
Hundreds of Norwegians and Russians arrived in the first week of February in the town of Kirkenes on the Russian-Norway border to see the spectacular installations, to visit unusual exhibitions and to speculate about the future of the Arctic territories at the international art festival Barents Spektakel.
€4 million to democracy and human rights
The Swedish Government grants 37 million SEK (€4 million) to support democratic movements, media, organizations and human rights work in Northwest Russia.
In addition to the Russian part of the Barents Region, the grant can be used in Leningrad, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Novgorod and Pskov regions.
The Swedish Government writes in its decision that the grant shall be spent on projects that increase the citizens’ influence and participation in democratic processes.
Also, the grant can be used on projects supporting gender equality and independent media.
The allocation of funding is a part of Sweden’s strategy for supporting democracy and human rights in Russia for the period 2010 to 2013 handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Thomas Nilsen, BarentsObserver.com